This week I attended a software event, a one day inspiration event promoting the software.
One of the talks was yet another of those irritating pretended humble “I know nothing about…” talks. You probably heard a number of them. The presenter is always extremely good at deliver the speech, more of an actor than an IT guy.
And IT guy they are not, oh no “I was given the task to lead this project despite the fact I know nothing about IT”. It is very important to emphasize they have been given the task directly by the CEO. “I who know nothing was given the task”, the CEO have taken the presenter aside and told him “I believe in you, you are the only one who can implement the new software in our company”.
After this introduction comes the swap. it is mandatory for this type of inspiring talk.It is a retorical figure that goes like this:
“I who know nothing of IT, was given the trust from the CEO, to implement X software and lead the project” and now comes the swap, This is not about IT, it is about PEOPLE. Actually it can be anything but IT. BUSINESS or ORGANIZATION are very common to use in the swap, but this time it was PEOPLE.
Now when the swap is done, there is a humble description of the project done under the presenters leadership always reported directly to the CEO. And now the praise of all the fantastic project members, the fantastic company and all it’s fantastic employees and the best CEO in the world. And lastly but not least all the fantastic IT consultants who made it possible for the presenter to carry the CHANGE through with the help of the super duper SOFTWARE. The praise cannot be overdone, most of all the project members are ascended up to the heaven some of them named despite the audience have no clue on who they are. All and everyone is praised except the naysayers.
The naysayers are all those who have opinions about the project. The naysayers are not praised. The presenter tells us the naysayers spread negative energy, they are no team players, petty minded incapable to grasp the TRANSFORMATION and to rigid to follow the CHANGE, cemented in the past.The naysayers must be removed, no mercy on them. The naysayers are not 100% loyal to the project leader so they risk the project and must be removed. Once the naysayers are removed comes the finale.
The finale starts with a summary of the project and a low keyed recap of the praise. Then the result which is always above expectations and a long story on how hard the transformation was and doubts if the project would ever succeed. But lo and behold in the end the project was a great success. And yes it was worth all the hard work.
It’s not that dislike these speeches, I just heard them and seen them be performed one time too many.And I have figured in such speeches as named project member, IT consultant and naysayer (once).